Last night I started up my next session of my Citizen Police Academy (CPA) classes. This time I’m in Carol Stream, the town that I live in. This is a long session – 11 weeks. Which is fine by me! This is the fifth CPA class I’ve now taken, in five different towns. I feel like I could teach the class at this point, I’m so familiar with police procedure! 🙂 But at the same time, towns do things differently, which is what makes these classes so interesting. And as an author who writes about men in uniform, the more information about law enforcement I can get is always a good thing. Plot bunnies can strike at any moment!
This is also a large class – 24 students. Only 4 of which are women. This is the most lopsided class I’ve been in. It’s normally closer to 50/50 men to women. So I’m going to have to step up my game to be noticed and taken seriously! Trust me, that won’t be a problem. 🙂
As with all of the classes I’ve taken, the first night is pretty basic, an overview of the entire police department, how it’s structured, etc. We had the Chief of Police as our first speaker who gave us some stats about the town – 40,000 residents. On average 5% are criminals. So we’ve got 2,000 of them running around my town. Kinda scary. Especially when there are only FIVE patrol officers per shift. The Chief also broke down the procedure for applying to be an officer. On average 300 people apply each year for 1-2 open spots. Your name remains on the list for 3 years. The academy (downstate in Springfield, IL) is 12 weeks in length. After which the rookie spends another 15 weeks riding with their Field Training Officer. The rookies are on probation for 24 months and always start on the night shift.
We have a total of 63 officers. I asked how many were women. We have 7 female officers. Two of which are corporals. They are also number 1 and 2 in line for promotion to sergeant. One of them will become the first female sergeant EVER in the village. Woot! Female power!